#131 Farzam Ehsani – Money Against Injustice

“Our crusade is against injustice, not a group of people who call themselves a name.” – Farzam Ehsani
Grey Jabesi interviewed Farzam Ehsani, Co-Founder and CEO of VALR.com, a platform that bridges the gap between our traditional financial system and the new world of cryptocurrencies. He was previously the Blockchain Lead at Rand Merchant Bank and the FirstRand Group and was the inaugural Chairperson of the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg, Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco, the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and the United Nations in Nairobi. He studied economics at the University of California – Berkeley.

VALR is a digital asset trading platform in South Africa with lower fees transactions, collaborating with Bittrex, one of the most advanced secured and compliant platform worldwide. And also partnered with Former FNB Bank CEO and Montegray Capital CEO, Michael Jordaan who was previously interviewed on this podcast on episodes 90 and 93 respectively. It allows customers to seamlessly and instantly trade between bitcoin or ether and over 50 cryptocurrencies. Valr has brought their close relationship with regulators in South Africa. The platform has both a take and a maker fee. The taker fee is 0.75% and the Maker fee is -0.1%. This means the makers get paid 0.1% of the fee transacted. Think of it as a rebate. Any trade has a buyer (taker) and a seller (maker). The maker fee is gotten from the 0.75% taker fee leaving Valr with 0.65%. This makes the platform sustainable.VALR Makes 0.65% out of any deal. The platform also includes a referral program which gives a referrer 15% discount of the fee. If you refer 2 or more people, you get 15% and 10% of the fees of all referrals.

In this fascinating podcast, we discussed the following:
-His Personal background
-How the banking system works
-Why he left Rand Merchant Bank and started Valr
-How Blockchain and cryptocurrency can contribute to financial inclusion in Africa
-His religious background, the Bahai faith
-How Valr works and affordable company’s fee structure
Share this episode with family and friends. Enjoy!

Link:Valr: https://www.valr.com/invite/VAURZWMT

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#130 Llew Claasen – How To Value Cryptocurrencies

In this episode, Grey Jabesi interviews Llew Classen. Llew is the Managing Partner of Newtown Partners, a blockchain investment and advisory services firm, founded by him and Vinny Lingham. Newtown Partners specializes in token economics, token sale design and demand generation for both their portfolio of startups and in an advisory capacity. They operate out of offices in San Francisco, U.S. and Cape Town, South Africa.

Llew is a go-to-market strategist with almost two decades of senior management experience in cryptocurrencies, digital product management and digital marketing.

He co-founded Clicks2customers (rebranded to www.nmpidigital.com) with Vinny Lingham, now a global digital marketing agency with annual billings in excess of $100 million and Synthasite (rebranded to www.yola.com). Llew is also the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the original, the oldest and the largest Bitcoin advocacy organization globally, headquartered in San Francisco, U.S. The Bitcoin Foundation coordinates the efforts of the members of the Bitcoin community, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin, how to use it and its related technology requirements, for technologists, regulators, the media and everyone else globally.

Llew has a Masters Degree in the Management of Technology & Innovation and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Topics Discussed:

-What Llew Classen is holding in his portfolio?
-How to assess and value coins
-His Bitcoin price prediction.
-The investment side. What they are investing in at Newtown partners
-Projects he’s excited about.

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#128 The Gold bug who converted to Bitcoin – Salvatore Burgio

“Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is a fantastic system of payments and some people call it Gold 2.0” Salvatore Burgio, Cape Town Bitcoin Expert

The Grey Ave Podcast meet Salvatore Burgio, a professional Jeweler who become a Goldsmith by the age of 16. In early 2012, Salvatore Burgio remodeled his business of jewelry and Gold into Bitcoin. In 2013 made his Bitcoin paper wallet.

Salvatore Burgio and his company Cape Town Bitcoin established the first Bitcoin ATM in Cape Town. The rise of Bitcoin ATM’s clearly demonstrates the advancement of digital payments, as a result, a transition to real-world financial models is being seen as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more common. As part of his continued commitment to support new technology through accessibility, Cape Town Bitcoin provides the services of its ATM to the general public. At their ATM’s, people can be able to trade cash for Bitcoin or convert Bitcoin to rands and you can buy Bitcoin for a minimum of R100.

We talked about the fundamental principles of money, gold and crypto in this interview. Some of the key points include the following;
-How and when he got involved in Jewelry business
-Comparison of fiat money and Gold
-What are the Kruger Rands
-The perception of money in this real world
-What made him shift his business to start investing in Bitcoin
-How Blockchain technology is charging finance and the world at large
-How can artificial Intelligent change the ecosystem

Learn more about the Bitcoin ATM and Cape Town Bitcoin at: https://www.capetownbitcoin.co.za/

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#127 Marius Reitz – Lessons on Money, The Role of Luno in Africa

In this episode of The Grey Ave Podcast, I sat down and interviewed Marius Reitz, Luno’s Country Manager for South Africa to shed some light on Luno at their Offices in Cape Town.

Luno was founded in 2013 and is one of the world’s leading digital currency companies. Luno allows its users (people and businesses) to buy, sell, store and learn about digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It also facilitates bitcoin storage through their bitcoin wallet services. They also operate exchanges between traditional currencies and bitcoin.

Luno and PayFast facilitated one of the first crypto-currency integrations into a payment processor in the world. In 2016, Luno took part in the FCA Sandbox programme. This allows businesses to test financial products with regulatory supervision.
In September 2017, Luno raised $9 million in order to introduce its bitcoin wallet, exchange and services in Europe. Since November 2017, Luno has also supported Ethereum. At the start of 2018, Luno announced they had reached nearly 2 million customers and processed over $5 billion. They are pro-regulation.In April 2018, Luno registered with the Bank Negara Malaysia as a reporting body for the digital currencies.

Marius joined Luno in its early days and has played a role in the company’s success. In this episode, we explore

  • His background,
  • Luno’s early days
  • Current state of Crypto
  • The future of Cryptocurrencies
  • Luno’s place in the market, considering growing competetion

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#125 Alakanani Itireleng – The State of Cryptocurrency in Botswana

Grey Jabesi caught up with Alakanani Itireleng also known as Bitcoin Lady at Blockchain Africa Conference 2019 in Cape Town. She is Co-founder and CEO of Satoshi centre, a blockchain hub in Gaborone Botswana. Alakanani is a determined entrepreneur, positive about the new possibilities that bitcoin as a currency and technology can bring to the life of many more Botswanans in the near future. She got into bitcoin in early 2012 in order to raise enough money for her son’s hear and lung transplant. She is also a well-known bitcoin evangelist who since has been involved in teaching people of Botswana about bitcoin. and has spoken at conferences in Amsterdam, South Africa, Europe, and Russia.

In this interview with Alakanani, we talked a lot about her journey into the blockchain, bitcoin, and crypto in Botswana.

Satoshicentre: https://satoshicentre.tech/

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#123 Jermaine Ellis – How To Make Passive Income and Travel the World

Grey Jabesi caught up with an American traveler, entrepreneur and YouTuber Jermaine Ellis from San Francisco, California USA. He’s busy traveling the world, so far he traveled 51 countries. Started backpacking traveling around the world 10 years ago.

I had an awesome time interviewing Jermaine Ellis. He’s really good at creating non formal jobs for himself to earn passive income while having fun doing it. Jermaine’s methods is applicable to everyone; nine to fivers, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents and jobs seekers too. I hope you find this inspiring.

His top favorite countries are:
1. South Africa
2. Israel
3. England


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#121 Anthem Blanchard – Creating a Gold Backed Currency

I had an awesome interview with Anthem Blanchard. He’s CEO and Founder of Anthem Vault, also serving as a member of the Board of Directors. Anthem brings extensive knowledge of the gold and silver industry to the company. He was raised by legendary goldbug and precious metals pioneer, James U. Blanchard III, who helped restore Americans’ right to own gold and also founded rare coin and bullion company, Blanchard & Company.

Anthem Vault provides individuals with an efficient and liquid way to buy, own, and sell fractional amounts of physical, 100% fine gold and silver bullion. Anthem Vault’s spinoff company AnthemGold is launching an Ethereum-based utility token, HERCULES (ticker: HERC), that functions to verify the existence of the gold backing its digital, spendable Anthem (ticker: AGLD) token. Each Anthem token is backed by one gram of physical gold, can be redeemed for physical gold, and will soon be tradeable person-to-person on a private network.

I interviewed Anthem Blanchard and CTO Logan Golema on episode #96 A New Era of Supply Chain Management. But in this episode, we focus on gold and AGLD.

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Links:https://anthemgold.com/
https://herc.one/

#120 Brock Pierce -The Mastermind of Digital Assets

“Not the score, not even the results but how you play” – Brock Pierce.

On a chilled sunny Thursday evening after a long mountain hike. I managed to get hold of the Unicorn; Brock Pierce to talk about…everything. I have lots of respect for the Billionaire, Child actor, Entrepreneur, technologist etc. Especially in the digital asset space, I’ve always admired people who accomplished a lot in a relatively small amount of time but in multiple industries. Brock is one of those guys.

Brock Pierce is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with an extensive track record of founding, advising and investing in disruptive businesses. He’s been credited with pioneering the market for digital currency and has raised more than $5B for companies he has founded.

In 2013, Pierce joined brothers Bart and Bradford Stephens in founding venture capital firm Blockchain Capital (BCC) which was reported to have raised $85 million in two venture funds by October 2017. Described as its managing partner, Pierce announced a $50 million Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by BCC in February 2017. On its launch in June 2017, the currency was named EOS and marketed through a new vehicle called Block.one of which Pierce was variously described as co-founder, head, minority partner and advisor.

In this interview, Grey Jabesi and Brock Pierce discussed:
– His early beginnings as an actor
– Mt Gox AKA Gox Rising
– Tether
– EOS
– Money and Wealth

Website Links:https://brockpierce.io/
: https://bitcoinfoundation.org/forum/
Follow Brock Pierce on twitter: https://twitter.com/brockpierce

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#118 Meir Ezra – How To Become Jewish in 10 Minutes

If you want to know how powerful you are. Count the times you’ve been punched or whacked by life” – Meir Ezra

This a 3rd of my on-going snippet episodes with Meir Ezra. We all know the stereotype of Jews being financially successful and in this episode, Meir took a tongue and cheek approach to why Jews tend to be more successful.

To listen to my very 1st interview with Meir, see How to make a 100 million dollars.

Remember to share if you find it helpful.


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#114 Steve Distante – Tesla’s No.1 Fan, Impact Investing

Steve Distante is an entrepreneur and CEO (as he likes to say, “Chief Entrepreneurial Officer”) of Vanderbilt Financial Group. He started his first business when he was only 5 years old. He is also the Founder and Chief Disruption Officer at Impact U, a platform that educates students, investors, & financial advisors, alike about Impact Investing.

He is known as “Tesla’s biggest and /or #1 Fan. His love for Tesla first started when he saw Revenge of the Electric Car. Tesla is a great thing for the world.

I did a couple of interviews with Steve, but in this episode, we talked about these key points;
-How can he advice an average person or someone who wants to buy a car?
-The current Project Impact U. What is the main aim of Impact U firm? a documentary that would be the ideal tool for attracting people interested in using their businesses and investments to make the world a better place.
-What does impact Investing mean?
-What is the role of impact investing and entrepreneurism in achieving the SDGs?
-At what point did Steve become an impact investor?
-Steve’s thoughts about Cryptocurrency etc
I recommend that you check it out other podcasts I did with Steve and listen to his advice and learn his lesson in this episode.
Episode 27 – Driving Tesla – Living Electric
Episode 28 – Lesson on Entrepreneurship


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